Online Tutoring Service Past Covid-19 Pandemic
Many private tutoring professionals are wondering what might happen to their online tutoring service after COVID-19. After all, the impact that online tutor services have caused on the landscape of education has been phenomenal. During the pandemic, this trend has only seen a spike induced not only because of demand-side dynamics but also the supply side.
On the one hand, school and college students are being forced to attend classes from home. This has brought the need for online teaching services to the fore. Among them is the increased demand for private tutoring online. On the other hand, many qualified professionals have stepped forward to take advantage of this upsurge in demand for private tutoring services. They lent their services as K-12 tutors, college tutors, and even kindergarten tutors.
Further, online tutoring platforms have upgraded themselves to offer excellent technology tools and interfaces needed to bring both sides together for effective skill and knowledge transfer. It comes as no wonder that the online tutor services market currently valued at $4.81 billion is slated to grow at a cumulative annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.1% between 2020 and 2027.
Macro trends in online education
There are macro trends pointing towards massive digitization of all facets of education from classroom teaching to learning resources. These trends are expected to permeate online tutoring as well and define a new normal in this space that will outlast the pandemic. The trends impacting online tutor services range from inherent gaps in the education sector to developments in technology to economic conditions. In this article, we will examine these trends one by one.
Inherent complexities of education addressed by online tutoring
Students have to deal with mountains of coursework, to juggle with co-curricular projects, extra-curricular activities, and hobbies. There’s great pressure on them to perform well across all fronts. With every passing year, things get more complicated. As they approach senior high, they must even grapple with highly competitive standardized test preparation, scholarship essays, college applications, etc.
This pressure extends even to the teaching community in schools to help students sail through all of these challenges whilst also helping them maintain their grades. It is not unusual for students to buckle under pressure. Their grades dip and their confidence take a hit.
This is often why parents resort to private tutoring at this stage for remediation. In the modern education system, private tutors play a critical role in easing school stress and helping students go through these years with relative ease.
Focus on holistic development through private tutoring
A growing number of parents are beginning to see how high school tutors can actually give students a more holistic learning environment than schools. High school tutors are trained to spot learning difficulties. But in addition to that, they can also spot social adjustment problems and psychological issues that come from having too much on the plate.
They often form a close bond with the students through one-on-one interaction often absent in classroom teaching. Apart from being high school tutors, they act as mentors and coaches. Therefore, parents acknowledge that private tutoring services have a far more important role to play in a generation that is plagued with mental health issues. Online tutoring fills a critical gap in education. This trend will likely continue even in the post-pandemic world.
Technology savviness forms the ground for online tutoring
Technology and tutoring make for a classic chicken or egg conundrum. It is hard to determine whether technology paved the way for online tutoring or whether it adapted to the needs of digital education and remote learning. Whatever it may be, technology is at the very foundation of the immense success of online tutor services. Every teacher wanting to launch private tutoring service has access to cutting-edge tutoring tools. Likewise, this generation of tech-savvy students has readily accepted this format of learning as well.
Tutoring technologies have evolved to provide stakeholders a seamless learning environment. Today, tutors and students connect through multiple interfaces and real-time interaction irrespective of group size. In fact, the physical distance is barely felt in online tutoring these days as long the student and tutor have access to high-speed internet and a mobile device.
Online tutoring in the quality of coaching
Virtual tutoring is a great way to instill autonomous learning skills. Students accessing private tutoring service have been observed to apply their knowledge of problem-solving in different situations. Tutoring service provides the hand-holding students need outside the classroom. The tutor acts as a facilitator or a coach, rather than just a teacher who grades them. This kind of learning is great to make students self-reliant over time.
Online tutors aren’t constrained by the syllabus. They have the liberty to go beyond what is prescribed. A lot of good tutors actually go to great lengths to provide the student with extra information and make the learning more well-rounded.
Evidence suggests that students getting help from online tutor services have better grades overall. They also show better engagement and class participation, promptness with homework, reduced learning time, and improved career orientation.
We can expect this undercurrent to keep up the demand for online tutoring services. The United States dominates the tutoring markets. However, there’s a huge demand surge in Asian countries for online tutor services as well. This is mainly because of Asian parents who want to significantly improve the quality of their children’s education, and rely less on local education systems.
Career readiness through online tutor services
Most educational systems around the world seem to provide little attention to the career readiness of the students who leave their system. However, parents realize the importance of giving their children a strong start in the job market by preparing them with the ways and means needed to succeed there. At the college level, this prep is imperative.
Even an entry-level job as a garment store salesperson needs career orientation. Career readiness skills can refer to both hard and soft skills and can apply to all professionals and levels. College tutors or even high school tutors with corporate experience have played a role in exposing their pupils to the ways of the professional world.
In the decades to follow, we can expect this role of private tutoring to continue and become more structured to deliver courses for career readiness. Hard skills that can be transferred effectively through online tutoring include business writing, excel modeling, PPT skills, coding basics, etc. Soft skills include general business communication, body language skills, team management, business etiquette, etc.
A source of employment for qualified professionals
A significant macro dynamic that has repercussions on the online tutoring service industry is the supply of qualified subject experts who want to teach professionally. During the pandemic, the world of commerce and business went through a churn. Many professionals were faced with income uncertainties as a consequence. It is easy to see why online tutoring has emerged as a great freelance option for these people since the pandemic.
There is a multitude of online tutoring platforms with low entry barriers, flexible working hours, access to digital learning technologies, and surging demand for tutors of all budgets and levels, including college tutors. Given that this line offers part-time and full-time opportunities, there will be a steady increase in the supply of qualified tutoring professionals over the next few years, while economic uncertainties prevail globally.
Better level of education at more affordable prices
Job opportunities are shrinking in many areas whereas education is getting more expensive. In this highly competitive landscape, students must sharpen their skills and gain an edge in the job market. Online platforms are host to a wide range of tutors catering to different educational levels and for all budgets to achieve this. With the help of technology, online skill transfer has become seamless and notches better than in-person tutoring. Additionally, online tutors available on-demand as well. What is more, it is actually working out to be more affordable compared to in-person tutoring.
Advantages of digital education on learning outcomes
While macro undercurrents are at play and point to a solid expansion of the tutoring service online, the real reason behind its massive popularity is ultimately learning outcomes. There’s strong evidence that suggests that online tutoring is as effective as in-person tutoring. Further, it also outdoes traditional formats in many ways. It is the outstanding improvements in learning outcomes that will underpin its popularity even after the world comes back to normal.
Convenience and flexibility
Imagine a kindergarten child having to travel for tutoring vs. that child spending time with a kindergarten tutor online. With the first option, chances are that the parents will simply drop the idea of hiring a kindergarten tutor just to avoid the logistical hassle. However, with the second option parents will be more than willing to give the child an opportunity to get ready for elementary school with confidence. Online tutor services can be accessed from the comfort and safety of home. Be it kindergarten tutoring like in our example, or college tutoring, a comfortable home environment has a positive impact on learning.
Personalization of lessons
Personalized learning is the biggest advantage of online tutoring when it comes to learning outcomes. This is the primary motive behind people opting for tutors, particularly elementary school tutors and high school tutors.
A high school student who struggles with subjects like math has certain expectations from high school tutors. Firstly, the student has the undivided attention of the tutor. Secondly, the tutor gets to design a program customized to the need of the student. Thirdly, the tutor gets to administer the lessons at a pace that the student is comfortable with. He/she can stretch the lessons if required until they reach learning goals. The main task of a tutor is to adapt and improvise teaching methods to attain desired outcomes.
Tech-enabled teaching methods and tools
If online tutoring has surpassed in-person private tutoring in terms of effectiveness, it is in part because of the things that technology can do to improve learning. Elementary and high school tutors use whiteboard tools, recording applications, homework management, and assessment tools. But the real game-changers in education are the latest trends such as gamification, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. There are responsive technologies in online tutoring that change the course of lessons based on the real-time performance of the student. The use of gaming, particularly in teaching STEM subjects, is already widely in practice. More ground-breaking developments are about to come in this space in the years ahead.
Control of the knowledge acquisition process
Online tutoring services have broken a big place-and-time barrier in the world of tutoring. As a result, students no longer have to choose a tutor from a handful of locally available options. We have transitioned into an era of on-demand tutoring where a student selects a tutor from the thousands of online-based services based on specific requirements and flexible budget levels. There are tutors available for the most niche and esoteric subject areas. This is especially important to students looking for specialized college tutors. What is more, students are not bound to anyone. They can switch tutors until they find someone they like. This ensures that students get high quality of instruction all the time.
All in all, students are finally in complete control of the learning process with the coming of online tutoring. Now, they can seek top-class education from anywhere and not just from their local school or local private tutor.
This is the cherry on the cake as far as learning outcomes are concerned. Unlike traditional private tutoring, online tutoring is highly individualized, thanks to technology. It enables students and tutors to focus on performance rather than time. Tutors can dwell on a topic for as long as it takes for the student to get the concepts right, before moving on to the next topic.
Future Challenges and Areas of Improvement
Further technological advances
The tutoring service sector is going to see some big changes in the years to come. These changes will address certain gaps in the service of today. For one, you can expect to see further technological advances to overcome the challenges in the quick and seamless installation of hardware and software, troubleshooting support, and contingency plan for any tech or delivery failures.
Improved delivery in tutoring
We can expect big design breakthroughs in the tutoring interface in the near future. This will create a more interactive, media-rich, highly customizable learning-based tutoring platform to balance one-on-one instruction and autonomous learning.
Online tutor quality
We will likely be witnessing improvements in instructional design for online tutors, screening, and evaluation of tutors based on parameters and standardization in tutoring service delivery.
Finally, more students will become part of the digitization movement through better access to devices. Governments will likely support this move in the coming years. This will obviously initiate welcome discourses on students misusing technology, online child safety, cost of devices, etc. However, slowly, but surely, students around the globe will move online for education as the penetration of computer devices improve among communities.
All of these factors leave us with no doubt that the online tutoring service will continue to shape the future of education even after COVID-19. We believe there will be a growing demand for online tutors of all kinds. This will include kindergarten tutors, elementary school tutors, high school tutors, and college tutors.